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Frequently Asked Questions

About the GW Centuries Celebration Weekend

Our Moment, Our Momentum: The GW Centuries Celebration Weekend will be the culmination of the celebration of our bicentennial, which will include Commencement for the Classes of 2020 and 2021, opportunities to honor our Monumental Alumni, in-person events and activities for our alumni, students and their families, staff and faculty as well as a closing Bicentennial Bash for the entire GW community.

It will take place from October 1-3, 2021.

There is a wide variety of in-person events for the entire GW community that will begin on October 1, 2021. You can see the full schedule here.

The GW Centuries Celebration Weekend marks the first time our community will be able to come together on a large scale since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This weekend provides an opportunity to recognize the significance of our bicentennial milestone and celebrate the achievements of the GW community. With this in mind, the programming for the weekend will augment events and activities that have taken place at previous Colonials Weekends/Alumni & Families Weekends. We are thrilled to call the broader GW community home for what promises to be a truly memorable weekend full of programming, community, fun and joyful celebration.  

Please visit the page specifically dedicated to Frequently Asked Questions about Commencement for additional information. Please note that registration for Commencement on the National Mall closed on August 31, 2021.

 

COVID-19 Health & Safety

All guests, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask for all indoor and outdoor events, unless guests are actively eating or drinking or can maintain at least six feet of social distance outdoors. 

In addition, per the recent university announcement, we will require that all guests visiting campus attest that they are vaccinated, or if they are unvaccinated, attest that they will show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their visit for the weekend. (This means unvaccinated guests must have a negative PCR or antigen test result from no earlier than Tuesday, September 28.) Guests will be asked to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test upon check-in.

We are also asking all of our guests to self-monitor for COVID symptoms throughout the weekend. If you develop any COVID symptoms before or during the weekend, please stay home and/or seek medical attention.

All guests, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask for all indoor and outdoor events, including Commencement on the National Mall, unless they are actively eating or drinking or can maintain at least six feet of social distance outdoors.

All guests over the age of 3 must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test if they are not vaccinated. Guests under the age of 3 who are not vaccinated do not need proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Each person can provide their proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result in one of the following ways, and adults 18 and over also must provide a government-issued photo ID (children under the age of 18 who are accompanied by a parent or guardian do not need to produce photo ID):

  • Vaccination card – it has been at least 2 weeks since the 2nd dose in a two-dose vaccination series (like Pfizer or Moderna) or at least 2 weeks since a single-dose vaccine (like Johnson & Johnson)

  • Photo of vaccination card

  • Digital or printed evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result from an antigen or PCR test, dated September 28 or later (at-home tests not permitted)

  • GW Medical Portal clearance badge (for current GW students, faculty, and staff)

GW will accept any vaccine authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO). The list of current FDA-authorized vaccines are available online. Authorized WHO vaccines are listed here. As of now, the WHO and/or FDA have authorized Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, the Serum Institute of India, Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines.

If you received your vaccination through a hospital or pharmacy, contact them directly to obtain a new card.  You can also check with your state’s health department.  If you cannot obtain a new copy of your COVID-19 vaccination documentation, please plan to show the results of a negative COVID-19 test to attend GW’s Centuries Celebration Weekend.

GW will not accept a religious or medical exemption from guests to the GW Centuries Celebration Weekend, with the exception of members of the GW community whose exemptions already have been approved. Unvaccinated guests must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the required time frame.

By completing the attestation portion of the registration process, attendees are confirming that they are aware of these updated requirements, and it helps organizers in the planning process for the events throughout the weekend.

Primary registrants — the individuals who registered themselves and their guests for the weekend — are responsible for completing the attestation for all members of their party via the registration portal and entering the email used to register for the GW Centuries Celebration Weekend. Once in the registration system, primary registrants will read a vaccination confirmation statement, asking them to self-certify that they and their party will be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within the required timeframe. They then must respond for each of their registered guests, who will be listed on the same page.

If you attest that you and your guests are fully vaccinated or will provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result by on-site check-in, the response cannot be changed. However, if you attest that you and your guests will NOT be fully vaccinated or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result by check-in, you can change your response. In any case, you can cancel your registration at any time.

Please go to the registration portal and enter the email address you used to register for the GW Centuries Celebration Weekend in order to access your registration.

All guests, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask for all indoor and outdoor events, unless guests are actively eating or drinking or can maintain at least six feet of social distance outdoors. 

Given the number of people at the events, it will be challenging to maintain proper social distancing. In addition, the National Park Service (NPS), who manages the National Mall, announced on August 16 that all visitors to NPS property must wear masks in outdoor areas where social distancing is not feasible, regardless of vaccination status. Requiring masks during events will help ensure the health and safety of our community. 

The Welcome Center will be located at the University Student Center at 800 21st Street, NW. It will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Friday, October 1, and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday, October 2. At the Welcome Center, once you verify the COVID safety protocols, you will be able to print out a credential that will provide access to events during the weekend.

Each individual must be present in order to check-in at the Welcome Center and print out a credential. If possible, we recommend the full party check in together.

You can cancel your registration by using the Update Registration Link or go to the registration portal and enter the email address you used to register for the GW Centuries Celebration Weekend in order to access your registration. Please contact [email protected] if you have questions.

GW Centuries Celebration Weekend visitors do not need to fill out the visitor protocol form. Guests for GW Centuries Celebration Weekend should complete the vaccination attestation form through the registration portal and entering the email used to register for the GW Centuries Celebration Weekend.

There will be multiple checkpoints for guest and graduate entry on the National Mall for the Commencement Ceremony. Look for the entrance arches at each of the locations outlined below.  

If you have picked up your Centuries Celebration weekend credential at the Welcome Center before arriving at Commencement, you will be able to access fast track lines. If you have not picked up your credential yet, you will need to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test to proceed past the checkpoint. COVID screening requirements are applicable at all Commencement Ceremony checkpoints, including the graduates only checkpoint.  

Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 graduates are requested to check in on 7th Street NW between Madison and Jefferson Drives.  This is a graduate only check point. Graduates will be directed to line up for procession from there.  

Other guests are invited to enter Commencement at one of four checkpoints:

Coming from the North:

12th Street NW and Madison Drive

Madison Drive at the South entrance to the National Museum of Natural History

Coming from the South:

12th Street NW and Jefferson Drive (entrance closest to the Smithsonian Metro)

Jefferson Drive at the North entrance to the Smithsonian Castle

We appreciate your desire to participate in these events, however, our health and safety protocols preclude us from permitting anyone who does not meet our requirements. 


For individuals who cannot attend Commencement in person but are interested in watching online, it will be live streamed on the Commencement homepage on the day of the event. Following the live streaming of the event, a video recording will be posted on the Commencement website and social media soon after the original airing.

Please see here for a list of testing locations in the city.

To be considered fully vaccinated, you must complete the full series of the vaccination and demonstrate that it has been at least 2 weeks since your last dose by the time you arrive to campus for the GW Centuries Celebration Weekend. This means that it will be at least 2 weeks since the 2nd dose in a two-dose vaccination series (like Pfizer or Moderna) or at least 2 weeks since a single-dose vaccine (like Johnson & Johnson).

Because at-home tests cannot conclusively be linked to an individual, or proven to have been taken within the required 72-hour window, they are not accepted as documentation within our protocol.

Adults 18 and over also must provide a government-issued photo ID. Children under the age of 18 who are accompanied by a parent or guardian do not need to produce photo ID.

During the Weekend

At the Bicentennial Bash on Saturday evening there will be a lost and found at the corner of 21st and H streets NW. Down at the National Mall for Commencement, all found items will be turned over to the United States Park Police. If you have lost and item at a different event on campus, please visit the GW Lost and Found webpage

If you lose your credential at any point during GW Centuries Celebration Weekend, please stop by the Welcome Center in the University Student Center for assistance.

Most outdoor events will be hosted rain or shine, including Commencement on the National Mall. If there is severe weather, there may be additional information about the status events taking place at that time. Please monitor GW’s social media channels for more information.

Registration

Registration is required to attend Commencement on the National Mall and other weekend activities. You can register here.

You may bring up to four guests to The GW Centuries Celebration Weekend. Should you have a need to bring additional guests, please submit a request for assistance.

‚Äč‚ÄčOnce you begin the registration process, many members of the GW community will see their names have been pre-loaded into the site. If you see many similar names or don’t find your name, click the “I do not appear to be listed” link and proceed to enter your information. Once you're done entering your own information, you can then add the information for the other guests in your party. If any of your guests are affiliated with GW, their name may also appear and can be selected to be part of your group.

After you finish entering the information for you and your guests, you will see two events packages to choose from. Once you select your desired package, you can then personalize the list of events you and your guests wish to attend during the weekend. If all guests are attending the same events together, there is an option to copy the primary registrant’s selections.

Please e-mail [email protected] for assistance. Someone will contact you within five business days.

Some schools are offering events, such as open houses. Please consult the schedule to learn more.

The weekend is free, though some schools or groups may have additional events with a fee.

We recommend completing your registration in one session. Should you wish to change part of your event registration at a later date, just click on the personalized link provided in your confirmation email.

If you wish to change part of your event registration at a later date, just click on the personalized link provided in your confirmation email.

The primary registrant of your party may have forgotten to sign you up for that particular event. Please go into your confirmation email and click the designated link to update your list of events.

If you wish to cancel your registration for all events, please email [email protected].

Please email [email protected]. Someone will contact you within five business days. 

For Alumni

On Friday evening, there is a decades-themed all-alumni reception that highlights and celebrates the unique GW experience. The School of Medicine & Health Sciences will host reunion class dinners for certain MD graduating years as well.

We've created special events packages for MD alumni from specific years, who have been contacted regarding these events. Please see the GW Medical School & H Street Society Reunion Weekend website for more information and registration.

To stay up-to-date on the latest news and information about Our Moment, Our Momentum: The GW Centuries Celebration Weekend, please update your email address and other contact information at this form.